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Weekend Baking

As the temperature hit the single digits over the weekend, it seemed absurd not to have the oven on constantly as a source of comfort food and extra heat. I’m not crazy about snow or arctic-inspired seasons unless accompanied by holidays and a break from school and work, so January and February (and sometimes March, April, and May in the Midwest) are all about biding time until peeling off winter coats and scarves in the sunshine of spring is a reality. After a few forays into the icy cold streets and waiting in the wind chill for late buses (living without a car in a medium-sized city will crush all illusions of happy public transportation in due time!), baking cookies and tending a warm, crusty loaf of bread seemed like a much better plan.

In 2009 and 2010 I lived without a real kitchen for about 8 months and the majority of my diet was PBJ and Peanut Butter Panda Puffs, so not surprisingly, I was not so into peanut butter after that. I’ll eat a PBJ if absolutely necessary, but it’s never my first choice for lunch anymore. But of course, desserts are another story, so sometimes peanut butter cookies sound like an absolutely fantastic idea. This weekend I reached for the Soft Peanut Butter Cookies recipe from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which is my go-to peanut butter cookie recipe.

I was looking to make a standard whole wheat bread, but while flipping through my recipe binder I came across a molasses rye bread with caraway and raisins (recipe here). I made the bread pretty much as directed, except I couldn’t find raisins in the cabinet and left them out.

Still craving regular bread, I made a standard whole wheat bread recipe. I like to replace 1/2 cup flour in any given bread recipe with wheat gluten flour (the kind you use to make seitan) because it makes the bread fluffy and soft. While searching through the cupboard for some kind of seed or herb to add to the bread, I came across my giant bag of sunflower seeds and dumped some in the dough at the last minute while kneading. They made a wonderful addition for a little toothsome crunch throughout the loaf. I ended up using this loaf for BBQ seitan sandwiches with ginger sesame red cabbage slaw.

Stay warm, everyone! Bread and cookies are the answer to snow and subzero temperatures. Unless you’re in a warm climate, and in that case, I am extremely envious!

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Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: Beans and Barley, East Side Ovens (again)

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Milwaukee Vegan Meetup group did lunch today at Beans and Barley, so afterward I shopped around a bit in the grocery section and bakery. This was the only kind of vegan cookie they had today, but it was lovely. I liked that it was soft, chewy, fresh, and chocolatey with a hint of peppermint.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
From East Side Ovens again. I thought this was a chocolate chip cookie (they don’t label them at the student union, so I’ve been guessing!), but it turned out to be peanut butter, which was a nice surprise because it was crispy and I’m not a huge fan of crispy chocolate chip cookies. A lot of their baked goods have a bit of a “healthy” twinge to them, but these and their dumplings are an exception. They’re not super sugary or greasy, so a break from that decadence is good every once in a while.

P.S. I promise I’ll never take photos in my dorm room anymore. The lighting is terrible.

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Soft Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This morning I felt like baking cookies (something I haven’t done in a while!). I decided on an old favorite, Soft Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. My baking supplies were limited. I was out of chocolate chips and brown sugar, so I made a basic peanut butter fudge, froze it, and chopped it up like chocolate chunks.

I now work in a non-vegan bakery as a cake decorator. Last week was my first week and I decorated hundreds of cupcakes and a bunch of cakes. It’s the perfect job for me because I only have to do my favorite part of making cakes-the decorating, constantly! And I get to practice my decorating skills without having a million cakes lying around my house to eat. I guess making all those sweets and not eating any of them reminded me I needed to satisfy my own sweet tooth once in a while via chocolate peanut butter cookies! Ha!

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Fruity: Chewy Banana Cookies, Pumpkin Spice, Blueberry. And some PB Grahams

Chewy Banana-Banana Cookies

I’ve been trying to make chewy banana cookies, on and off, for about a year and it finally happened! They’re called banana-banana cookies, rather than banana-oatmeal or banana-nut, because the banana shines in this recipe!

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I have a fluffy pumpkin cookie, but here is the elusive CHEWY pumpkin cookie!

Blueberry Walnut Breakfast Cookies

These are completely oil/margarine-free, but don’t taste healthy!

Peanut Butter Graham Crackers

A variation from original grahams.

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Creativity!

Hypnosis

Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies

These are super unique with hints of secret flavors.

Chocolate Nut Florentines

Almond Butter Cookies

Oreos

Homemade!

Oreo Cookie Cookies

Oreo cookies, in cookies!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

The same idea, but with the famous peanut butter cups.

Day of Silence Cookies

Dare I communicate that these left people speechless?

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Classic and delicious!

Zesty Coconut Lime Mexican Wedding-like hybrid cookies

I invented these for a Spanish class party and they are coconut hater-approved!

Espresso Shortbread

Yum!

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies

A Garrick creation.

Cutesy Fruitsy Raspberry Almond Sandwich Cookies

I’m starting to make super creative titles for cookies. This one may be a little too cutesy, but I try. The name is fitting though!

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Mass Chaos of Variety!

Ginger Cookies, three ways

Turbinado-sugared

Crystallised ginger

Chocolate Covered Crystallised Ginger

Chocolate Covered Crystallised Ginger

Butterscotcho-mania!

Scotchies!

Peanut Butter Butterscotch with Butterscotch Chips and bits of PB Fudge

7-Layer Bars

St. Patty’s Day!
Homemade vegan Bailey’s is the basis of these cookies!

Kolaches and Apricot Fold-overs (recipe courtesy of AsstroGirl!) and Apricot Almond Cookies

Odds ‘n’ Ends

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Cookie Cake!

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Catch-up!

I’ve been really busy/sick lately, but managed to come up with a few recipes in the past week or so. Here’s to catching up with the blog!

Peanut Kiss Cookies

Classic! I use a kiss mold I found at a thrift store in a hershey kiss making kit. The rest of the equipment was useless, but the mold is wonderful!
Peanut Kiss Cookies

Peanut Kiss Cookies

Chewy Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

A chewy cookie with bits of smashed candy cane and chocolate chips scattered throughout.
Chewy Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars

I might need to come up with a new name for these. They are very similar to those chocolate chip granola bars, except more flavorful and a bit softer. So good!
Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars